THE hood is a staple of the traditional ring attire, but it was noticeably missing from Dee Walsh’s pre fight ring gear in the Devinish last Saturday night.
The Belfast light middleweight instead sported a collar on his top and wore it flicked up in fashion made famous by one Eric Cantona-and the comparisons to the mercurial French footballing genius don’t stop there.
Like Cantona, Walsh was the perfect mix of spite and flair as he claimed the Irish light middleweight title in just his tenth pro fight and displayed the kind of arrogance United number 7 made famous.
‘Waldo’ took a step up in class when challenging Terry Maughan for the vacant Irish title and still looked a class above, registering a stoppage win that was as much about panache as it was power.
The 24 year old stopped the toughest opponent of his career with just 1:08 gone in the second stanza.
Wlash, who counters arguments about his power by revealing he most of his early fights were against opponents well above his natural weight, started impressively.
He made Maughan miss and punished him accordingly in the first round, buzzing the fighter with eight wins and five loses with a sharply delivered right.
The round also played host to two ‘Waldo’ flurries as the red corner fighter went for the kill. Maughan, however withstood the barrage and didn’t seem to ruffled going into the second stanza.
The opening three minutes seemed to give Walsh even more confidence. He began to speak to his foe during the second and verbal blows were not all he was landing.
The MHD Promotions was again punishing Maughan when he fell short and then midway through the round landed the shot that turned a dominant performance into a destructive one.
Walsh rode Maughan’s jab perfectly with his hands down by his sides and fired back with a a perfectly timed right hand. The Nottingham based puncher somehow managed to stay on his feet but the writing was on the recently redecorated Devinish walls.
A beautiful uppercut followed just 20 seconds later and Maughan fell to the ropes, Walsh applied the pressure and referee David Irving jumped in and stopped the fight.
There were some suggestions Maughan could have been given more time, but there was no complaints from him or his corner as the fight was called to a halt and once Walsh had landed that right hand there only seemed one likely outcome.